MILAN, Italy - A Filipino community group is urging the Philippine government to take immediate action in helping overseas workers in Italy who are losing their jobs because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread.
"This has caused a profound impact in the lives of overseas workers from the different sectors like the tourism, domestic and assistance. [All are] vulnerable in losing their jobs. Thousands had forcibly taken their unpaid leave, vacation leave, and worse, some had been terminated," Edgardo Turingan, Task Force COVID-19 OFW Watch Italy spokesperson, said in a statement.
Italy has been put under total lockdown aimed at limiting the coronavirus outbreak in Europe’s worst-hit country.
There are 168,292 Filipino residents in Italy and mostly in Lombardia region, the worst hit region of COVID-19, at 58,408.
Meanwhile, there are 46,368 Filipino residents in Lazio region.
According to Republic Act 10801 or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Act, section 5 of rule 2 d., "OWWA shall provide prompt and appropriate response to global emergencies or crisis situation affecting overseas workers and their families."
Task Force COVID-19 thanked the Philippine Overseas Labor Office POLO-OWWA Milan for tapping community organizations to gather data of Filipinos who got terminated from their jobs or forced to take their leave.
The Task Force COVID-9 had been gathering data and information since the first week of March, of those who were directly and indirectly affected by the lockdown.